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5 Ways to Save Money With a New Baby
A new baby adds a lot of expenses to your household budget, but there are several things you can do to safeguard your family’s financial future. Taking care of your new baby means more than just feeding, bathing, and changing all those diapers. Keep a budget and you'll save money on baby goods from formula to childcare.
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It's absolutely possible to handle all new baby expenses while keeping your family finance puzzle intact.
Here's are five easy ways to start:
#1 Stop Worrying
The first thing you need to do is to stop wasting time worrying about money. Worrying about money is common and non-productive. If your finances aren’t what you’d like, spend your energy to change them. Worrying only makes matters worse. Educate yourself, ask for help, and most important – take action!
It’s easy to get caught up in all the things we think we have to have in order to raise a family. Do you really need a house big enough for everyone to have their own bedroom and a playroom too? Can you get along without the latest, greatest baby gear and toys? When I had my first baby, I truly believed I needed three different strollers. Obviously, I was delusional. Learn from my mistakes! As for brand name baby goods, if you have to have them make sure you shop consignment sales, second hand boutiques, and online.
#3 Make Your Own Baby Food
It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own baby food. In addition to saving money you maintain control over baby food ingredients. You don’t need a fancy gadget, although the cost of one is probably justified if you’ll actually use it. Making baby food is something you can do on a supplemental basis to help curb the cost of the packaged brands and it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. I made my own peas and sweet potatoes right on the stove. Just boil and puree, then freeze in ice cube trays.
#4 Buy Smart
Diapers (and formula if you use it) will be among your largest expenses. Despite what the brilliant marketers would have you believe, there’s really not that much difference between the name brands and the generics, or store brands. When it comes to formula, everyone has to meet the same FDA guidelines so don't be afraid to buy the tin with the not-so-pretty label. Invest in a Costco or Sam’s Club membership and buy staples in bulk. If the cost or storage needs make this impractical, go in with another family.
#5 Reduce or Share Childcare
If both parents work, the biggest expense associated with a new baby is probably childcare. Cutting back by a couple of days a week, or even a few hours a day could significantly decrease childcare costs. Consider shifting work hours or working a day or two from home. In home childcare (a nanny) can become more affordable when shared with another family.